Falls from heights

What you need to know

Falls from heights is a leading cause of workplace fatalities and serious injuries, with the majority occuring in the construction industry, followed by transport and manufacturing.

Working at heights could mean working as high up as a multistorey building, or as low down as the second rung of a ladder.

Most fatal and serious falls from heights occur from 4 metres or less

The top 5 things people fall from are:

  1. Ladders – mostly extension and step ladders
  2. Scaffolds – that have missing components, such as missing planks or rails
  3. Roofs – off a roof, or through fragile / brittle roof sheeting or skylights
  4. Trucks – from the cab or trailer
  5. Steps and stairways – both internal and external to buildings.

When it comes to working at heights, SafeWork NSW takes a zero tolerance approach to workers lives being placed at risk. SafeWork NSW can issue on-the-spot fines of up to $3,600 for failing to control the risk of falls from heights.

But there are simple things you can do, depending on your industry and the activity you are doing.

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